The Tennessee Senate has voted to put a constitutional referendum before the people of that state regarding abortion.
According to The Tennessean, the bill, SJR127, would allow for the people to vote on a constitutional amendment which would explicitly state that abortion is not protected in the Tennessee constitution . Such a move will undoubtly draw opposition from the pro-abortion movement, and will likely result in a court case.
The amendment’s sponsor, Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Juliet, stated “This resolution is only about letting the people decide whether they want their elected representatives to make the laws on abortion.”
With the very real possibility that this amendment could be passed at the polls, both sides are preparing for a political battle. Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Tennessee chapter, made very clear that the pro-abortion movement in Tennessee intended to defeat any attempt at a constitutional amendment.
Referendums at the state level such as this one, serve to advance the pro-life cause by allowing legislation to be created at the state level which could eventually spark a challenge to Roe v. Wade. Once Roe is overturned, the states may once again begin crafting enforceable legislation that eliminates legalized abortion.
If the bill continues to passage, the amendment will be voted on in 2014.
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